First students graduate from Mackay nursing course
Gabriella Bell listening for heart sounds on willing ‘patient’ Claire Roach
The first ever students have graduated from James Cook University’s Mackay-based Bachelor of Nursing Science (Pre-Registration) course, in a boon for healthcare in the region.
Five of the seven graduates were the first entrants in the programme in 2012, part of an initiative designed to help fill the gaps in healthcare services in regional, rural and remote locations.
Lecturer and site coordinator Jane O’Shannessy said six of the seven graduates will be commencing employment in Mackay and Emerald with one heading to Townsville for her graduate year. She said this secures 100% of the graduates in the North Queensland workforce.
She said that nine other nursing students have completed their second year of training, with 27 completing their first year. She expects between 30 to 35 people will start the course in 2015.
“Interest is strong for the degree here in Mackay and JCU is looking to build on the successful completion of the Bachelor of Nursing Science over the next few years.”
Acting Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, Professor Melanie Birks, said the course had been very successful. “We are very much committed to growing our own workforce,” she said. “We would have lost these people to bigger cities, but because we are now able to provide a quality programme it means they are able to stay in the region.”
She said JCU’s relationship with Mater hospital was instrumental in the success of the programme and valued for the opportunities and relationships it brought with it.